The Office for National Savings released alarming figures this morning suggesting that average household savings in the United Kingdom had been all but wiped out by demonetising the old pound coins.

The new, thirteen sided pound coins were released into the general public to go where they will just a few weeks ago and are reportedly already piling up in handbags and beneath furnishings.

But the unintended impact of declaring the old pound coins of no value a few days ago has triggered a national savings crisis.

Opposition MPs, and even some rebel government members, have raised calls for a reversal of the policy, with the suggestion that it could even be wise to double the value of the old, round pound coins in a boost to savers.

“I wouldn’t be rushing down to the Bank of England with my old round coins just yet,” money making expert Giles Foster-Squidsin advised, “as pressure mounts on the government to reverse the phasing out of the old coins to protect household savings, you could potentially be sitting on a gold mine, assuming you haven’t already fished the old pounds out and cashed them in.”

The government has not officially responded to the clamour as of yet, but the Herald did get Phil Hammond to speak off the record when we caught him on a tour of a cemetery this morning.

“I am a bit surprised, to be honest,” the chancellor said, “do people still carry metal money? I do not even use paper money anymore. Good lord. Politics is just full of surprises. Look here, at this headstone, can you read the date for me? This is how I decide how much the public purse will borrow each month. I just pick a date off a headstone.”

It’s thought the Department for Social Insecurity is also considering installing special phone boxes for the sole purpose of calling to enquiry where universal credit payments are, they will likely be accepting the old pounds too.

“Either way, hang on to the old pounds a little longer and you’ll be quids in. Or quids on, if you’re sitting on them watching tele.”